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Productivity showdown: Google Apps or Office 365?

Jon Gold | March 20, 2014
Microsoft Office, as you may be aware, has long been one of the more profitable jewels in the Redmond giant's glittering crown. Even as fierce competition and the shift toward smartphone dominance undercut Microsoft's long-standing role as the 800-pound gorilla of computing in the enterprise, Office has remained the pre-eminent locally-run productivity suite out there.

That said, all Office 365 packages except stand-alone Exchange Online offer a further 25GB of cloud storage for each user via Microsoft's OneDrive service. Google charges an extra fee for any additional storage beyond the 30GB for Gmail and Drive, with prices starting at $4 per month per user for an extra 20GB ruining the value proposition somewhat, and making Office 365 considerably more attractive to customers with a need for hefty storage space.

THE UPSHOT

Essentially, it depends on what you're looking for. Google Apps' simplicity, ease of use and no-fuss, no-muss setup will no doubt find a large number of takers, among organizations large and small. While not as feature-rich as Office 365, Google Apps offers enough functionality to present a compelling use case particularly at its low price point.

In contrast, Office 365 offers an experience that seems generally a bit more polished and extensive, in terms of capabilities but those advantages come at a price. Organizations that want a slightly more robust feature set, and those that can't bear to leave the original Office apps behind will be well-served by Office 365.

But it's tough to argue with the competition's low price, all else being at least close to equal, so Google Apps is probably the overall winner, by a nose. Plenty of other companies, however, will get their money's worth from Office 365.

 

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